Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Gene Jewelry: Romantic or Creepy?
The newest development in ultra-personalized jewelry is the addition of a loved ones encapsulated DNA. Swiss chemist, Robert Grass and inventor of Identity Inside, a Kickstarter project, is the creator behind this distinct idea. He expresses that each individual’s genetic material makes the jewelry unique.
This novel idea originated during Grass's research for the stabilization and storage of DNA. The process starts when the purchaser sends a saliva sample to Grass' lab in Switzerland where the DNA is extracted. Chemicals are added to the solution containing the purified DNA to promote glass production. This reaction essentially fossilizes the DNA similarly to the fossilization process that occurs with mosquitoes in amber. To learn more about the fossilization process check out Science Clarified.
The resulting powdery glass substance containing the strands of DNA is then stored in a drilled hole within a rose gold pendant, silver ring, or Swiss-made watch and sealed with a .02-carat diamond. This process leaves the DNA intact and can be removed and analyzed in the future. Researchers performed storage stimulation and predict the encapsulated DNA has a half-life of 1,000 years.
So, is jewelry embedded with a loved ones DNA romantic, creepy, or something in between? Well, that depends who you ask. Personally, I think this idea could catch on with engagement rings because of the poetic nature of a diamond protecting the "biological blueprint" of your spouse. The engagement ring has been a symbol of marriage since antiquity. I think this concept could modernize this classic symbol and overtime appear more romantic than creepy to the majority of the public.